Construction is now underway of Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center (EEDC) at the University of Maine. Designed by WBRC Architects Engineers and Ellenzweig of Boston, the state-of-the-art $78 million, 105,000-square-foot, three-story facility is being built by Consigli Construction.
In response to the COVID-19 situation, the building’s April 23, 2020 groundbreaking was celebrated virtually. Over 300 people attended the live online event. It included recorded remarks from UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Maine Governor Janet Mills, among others, and was hosted live by Dana Humphrey, Dean of the University of Maine College of Engineering. The WBRC/Ellenzweig design team presented a video about the design process as part of the celebration.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Dean Humphrey announced that Principal Architects Kristian Kowal of WBRC and Michael Lauber of Ellenzweig would be inducted into UMaine’s Francis Crowe Society in recognition of their design leadership on the project.
Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center will house the University of Maine’s Biomedical Engineering Program and Department of Mechanical Engineering and provide teaching laboratories for the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program. The center also provides dedicated space for all engineering majors to complete their senior capstone projects. Ferland EEDC includes a Welcome Center that will serve as the first stop on campus for visiting students and collaborative learning classrooms that will serve the entire campus.
Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center will help meet a longstanding demand for engineers in Maine. As Governor Mills noted during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony:
“The demand for engineers is illustrated by the 1,530 job postings for engineers in Maine in 2019. Moreover, 99% of UMaine Engineering graduates report being employed full-time or being full-time graduate students within six months of graduation.”
A record $25 million in private support has been raised for Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center. This includes gifts from more than 500 alumni, friends and corporate donors. The $10 million naming gift by Skowhegan natives E. James “Jim” Ferland, class of 1964, and Eileen P. Ferland is the single largest capital gift in UMaine history. The Maine State Legislature’s July 2017 approval of $50 million in public support helped to catalyze the campaign.